watercolor by courtney khail
Kelley and Will are great friends of ours. Kelley went to pharmacy school with J. and even though I may have known Kelley before she and Will got together (though I don't think so) I can't imagine the two of them apart. They are both such genuine, good, loving people and they balance each other out so well. Knowing that, one of my favorite things to do ever- is to create a painting for someone I know and love. (And I absolutely love these two.) Knowing I get to create something that captures a memory for them, or simply brings a smile to their face when they see it- well it is such a thrill for me. And since Kelley and Will live all the way in North Carolina and we don't get to see them nearly enough, it's kind of like a little piece of us is now always with them. (Okay that sounds creepy. Or maybe it only sounds creepy because I watch too much Dexter... eh whatever. Get.back.to.the.point.Courtney.)
So anyhoo. A few months back I got an email from Will asking me if I could create a painting for his lovely bride for their first anniversary (which it actually just occurred to me that the first anniversary is the paper anniversary. High five for originality, Will!)
I was stoked.
First, it meant he was home safe and sound (he's a marine and was serving overseas shortly after they got married) and second, it meant I had full permission to Facebook stalk/re-live their beautiful Alabama wedding to find the best photos of Kelley's bouquet to take inspiration from. They had a gorgeous wedding which was that much more amazing since it was a military wedding and therefore full of traditions I'd never witnessed in person. You know, like exit the church under the arch of sabers, have groomsmen in their dress blue-whites- think that's what it's called, sorry if I messed that one up, use the saber to cut the cake... it was awesome. (It was also the first time I saw Will with all of his medals, honors, etc. which kind of made me tear up. I think it was at that moment that my mind fully connected the fact that our fun loving friend was also a crazy talented helicopter pilot that risks his life for us everyday and the emotions kind of hit me harder than I expected.)
Once again, I'm rambling. But I want you all to know just how much we love these two and therefore how much I wanted this painting to be absolutely perfect for Kelley. (I normally do around 10-15 sketches of a piece before I start, hers took me like 30-50. Sorry trees.) And now that she has it and it's no longer a surprise, I wanted to share it with you all. I love how it turned out!
photo by the element of photography
And to our lovely friends- happy (belated) anniversary! I'm so happy you have each other and am so honored to call you both friends. Love you guys!